This past week in the news a heartwarming story grabbed my attention. It involved a nurse who was standing at the nurse’s station at the hospital where she works when she heard the doctor mention the name of the most recent patient that was being admitted to the hospital. When interviewed, she said that she heard the name “Victor Peraza” spoken out loud and her heart almost stopped. She stood frozen as this new patient, this Mr. Peraza was wheeled by her and into his room. The reason for her reaction is that her father....also named Victor Peraza had abandoned her and her mother and all of her siblings some forty years earlier. All sorts of thoughts and emotions began racing through her mind and body and she tells that she literally stood motionless, not moving for a matter of minutes. Once she collected herself she quickly checked this new patient’s chart as to his age and bingo….the man was the same age as her father would have been. Could it be that this man is actually the father that she never knew? Is this the man whom she has never seen or had any recollection of since he left when she was a baby? She finally decided that the only way to know would be to just walk right into his room to see him because her mother had always told her for her entire life that she was almost identical in looks to her dad. She did and the rest is history.

 

During this interview which was done a week following this incident ,she was holding a picture of her father who at the time was still in the hospital and sure enough, she is the spitting image of the man whose photo she was clutching. What arrested me most about this story was not the actual facts although it is extremely fascinating and mind boggling. What struck me however was her whole attitude, her countenance, her entire demeanor during the interview. This lady was simply bursting with joy. Her face radiated, she was exhilarated and just beaming with gratitude that after all these years she finally had met her dad in the most unlikely of circumstances. She spoke of how she had since introduced her husband and her children (his grandchildren) to her father and proudly showed the pictures of her kids cuddling with their recently united grandpa in his hospital bed. Then came the crowning jewel moment of the interview which I shall never forget…the last question. The reporter said “ We hear so much today from folks who have a hard time forgiving their parents for this or that, from folks who are so bitter by what their parents did to them as children….I am curious, do you hold any bitterness towards your father since he did abandon you and your mother and siblings some forty years ago?”  This lady, this nurse , this daughter simply smiled back at the reporter and said “No…not at all because I choose to be a happy person.  I don’t dwell on sadness or failures of the past, I just want to look forward to the future with my dad who I never thought I would ever meet.”

 

How refreshing and how rare in today’s “victim mentality” world ! Here is a lady who was without her father for her first forty years of her life yet instead of being stuck in the hurt of that reality she CHOOSES to think the best, hope for the best, and to be happy and thankful. Her dad is one blessed man ! He has a daughter who has chosen happiness, hope, and gratitude over bitterness. This story teaches an important lesson for all of us  and one that I hope will resonate with my readers as much as it did with me. Just let go and start loving ….life is too short to not do so.